Every child matters: a small scale enquiry into policy and practice

Hough, Christine Victoria (2010) Every child matters: a small scale enquiry into policy and practice. Doctoral thesis, University of Cumbria (awarded by Lancaster University). Item availability may be restricted.

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Abstract

This research study examines aspects of the effectiveness of the Every Child/Youth Matters (ECM/YM) programme with regard to its implementation in 2006. Part 1 of the study explores the practical implications of ECM/YM for professional practice across the different welfare agencies, through a series of loosely structured interviews with managers, case workers and young offenders (aged up to 16 years). From an analysis of the data, using grounded theory approaches, three key findings were inducted. These findings suggested the following: I. A lack of consistency in the quality of targeted support provided by integrated services for the most vulnerable children and young people and their families; II. A lack of fine tuning in: a) the identification of vulnerability across different cohorts of children and young people, according to their changing circumstances; b) the ways in which information (about vulnerable children and young people) is shared and used across the different welfare agencies. Reflection on these findings led to a further review of the literature that focuses on critiques of social policy. The analyses of research data within this domain suggest the limitations of social policy making that conforms to a linear, mechanistic approach, because it does not respond to individualised, local need. This suggests further that it is the policies themselves that account for the perceived lack of fine tuning identified in the above findings in part one of this research thesis. Therefore it was important, next, to capture data which drew on respondents' personal perceptions of welfare provision, which might endorse, or otherwise, those aspects in which part 1 of the study suggested that the ECM/YM agenda is failing, in some localities, to meet the needs of the most vulnerable children, young people and their families. In part two of this study, further research was conducted through a series , of extended conversations with: male offenders (aged between 16 and 24 years); parents/partners of prisoners; managers from voluntary/not for profit organisations and senior multi-agency professionals. The data were analysed using a phenomenological approach. Overall, the findings suggest that a purely mechanistic, evidenced-based approach to providing welfare support for vulnerable children, young people and their families can result in negative outcomes when compared with a more contextualised, holistic approach.

Item Type: Thesis/Dissertation (Doctoral)
Departments: Applied Psychology and Social Studies
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2018 15:47
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2018 01:07
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3736

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